Briton’s Youngest Millionaire
What is it like to own a multi-million dollar business as a teen? Just ask Akshay Ruparelia, one of Briton’s youngest – and newest – millionaires. He’s the founder and owner of Doorsteps.co.uk, an online estate agency operating in the UK. Although he was still in his last year of A levels when he started out, Akshay has turned his business into a profitable, competitive operation.
Akshay was born in North London in 1998 to Kaushik and Renuka Ruparelia . He’s the youngest in the family, with only one older sister ahead of him. As a kid, he watched his parents working hard at multiple jobs at a time. Inspired by their perseverance and tenacity, he decided to pursue his own business to help take care of the family.
A New Way of Selling Properties
Doorsteps.co.uk is essentially the Uber of real estate in the UK . It’s a home and property selling agency that operates on a flat fee of £99 for sellers. Properties as expensive as £1.4 million have been sold through the company for the same flat rate as any other property. There are no crazy commissions or extra fees attached to the service, which puts him at a fantastic price advantage over traditional High Street estate agents who charge upwards of £800 to sell a home.
In an unusual move, Akshay decided to employ moms to help him show houses listed on the site. Normally, an estate agent would do the showing, but Akshay felt that moms were generally more trustworthy and honest. If people trust the person showing them the home, the experience can be better for potential buyers, leading to more sales.
Akshay Ruparelia Net Worth?
Akshay Ruparelia’s net worth is estimated to be £12 million in 2017 . He claims to have sold more than £100 million worth of properties of all kinds in different areas of the UK. After the company valuation, crowd-funding investors purchased almost £400,000 worth of shares in the company, which Akshay intends to use to scale up the business.
How Did Akshay Ruparelia Hit the Big-Time?
It took only 16 months to get a business valuation of £12 million. So, what happened during those 16 months? It all started when Akshay experienced his first house move with his family. He learned about the job of estate agents, and also about the exorbitant fees they tend to charge sellers – as much as 2-3% of the final sale price in some cases.
Inspired by Ryanair founder Michael O’Leary , he decided to follow a similar model. O’Leary’s success came because he offered people something they wanted for a much lower price than usual and actually provided it as promised. So, Akshay followed suit and launched Doorsteps in the UK to undercut the existing estate agents.
It took time for things to catch on. Akshay took a £7,000 loan from different relatives to get his website up and running and the business officially started. It took weeks after that for him to find the first person willing to give him a chance to sell their property. That man became his first happy customer, and soon his second as well after deciding to also sell a separate lot nearby the first property.
All it took was that one successful customer story to get people interested. It grew slowly at first, spreading around mostly through word of mouth advertising. Now, Doorsteps has more than 1,500 listings and sells 30 properties on average every week.
What started out as a one-man operation, with Akshay doing everything between classes and after school hours, has turned into a promising business with 7 employees and a number of freelance moms on call. While taking a small salary of £1,000 per month, the rest of the profits from the business are all re-invested to promote further growth.
Akshay said in an interview in October 2017 that he aims to become the largest estate agent in the UK. At the time of the interview, he was the 18th largest after only 16 months in business. Emphasizing on good service, he’s also looking to maintain his business’s excellent online ratings.
Most of the properties that have been sold and listed through Doorsteps so far have been outside of London in cities like Manchester or Cardiff, which has helped to increase the number of sales. Prices of properties are generally lower in some of the areas surrounding London, causing houses to be sold more quickly than the higher priced homes in London. This has also helped to give Doorsteps a better average selling time of just 20 days per property compared to the national average of 57 days.
Sticking to His Roots
Despite the newfound success, Akshay is choosing to remain at home with his family for now. It’s not just about cutting down the cost of living, either. Both of Akshay’s parents are deaf, so he wants to stick around and help them in any way possible. He’s already bought them a new car since his business started to take off!
At some point, university is in the future plan. Oxford University offered him a position to study economics and mathematics, although Akshay put that on hold while he continues to focus exclusively on the business for now. He may have made it through A levels while working, but the type of growth he wants would be much harder to get with the distraction of university-level studies.
Facts about Akshay Ruparelia
Want to know a bit more about this young entrepreneur? Here are a few fun facts about Akshay Ruparelia:
– At the age of 12, he used to sell sweets at school for some extra cash
– The first language he learned was sign language
– Arsenal is his favorite soccer team
– Early on, he hired a call center to take business calls for him during school hours
– Once the business is more stable, he hopes to get the chance to travel more
– He and his sister have acted as caretakers for their parents since an early age
Throughout his childhood, Akshay Ruparelia learned resilience and responsibility, two things that he gives credit for helping him to start his business when he did. He also learned how to take risks when necessary, something that has come in handy in his entrepreneurial ventures so far. With the right opportunities and his continued success, Akshay may just reach his goal of being the largest estate agency in the UK!